Ike Turner died of cocaine overdose, coroner says

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Music legend Ike Turner died of a cocaine overdose, the San Diego medical examiner’s office concluded today.

Turner, the musician who gave the world what many historians consider the first rock ‘n’ roll record -- “Rocket 88” in 1951 -- died in December at his home in San Marcos, north of San Diego. He was 76.

The medical examiner listed the cause of his death as “cocaine toxicity.”

Turner’s career spanned more than six decades and peaked in the late 1960s and early 1970s when he and his wife, Tina, were an incendiary force in R&B and live music, with hits such as “Proud Mary,” “I Want to Take You Higher,” “Nutbush City Limits” and “River Deep-Mountain High.” The pair’s dynamic revue took them well beyond the R&B scene in 1969 when they opened for the Rolling Stones on the British group’s North American tour.


Ike Turner, however, struggled with drug use since the mid-1970s.